How many times have you missed your breakfast running late for class or skipped lunch? It happens more often than you think.
One of my main concerns of living in Zurich was to maintain a healthy diet in the midst of an intensive university workload. Here is my take on taking the time to fuel correctly.
Reduce anxiety, fatigue and headaches
The last thing you want during a hectic week is a body that is not supportive. It’s not its fault though but the low-quality nutrition it has been getting. Healthy food can let you soar a few extra miles and keep you feeling good about yourself.
An important aspect of nutrition is drinking enough water. A lack of fluids results in headaches, fatigue and increases your anxiety.
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Avoid sugar rush
Managing your sugar consumption will keep your brain running efficiently. According to a study by UCLAexternal link, “College students cramming between midterms and finals: Binging on soda and sweets for as little as six weeks may make you stupid.” It claims, “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage”.
Sugar is all around us, in our fruit juices, breakfast cereals, and even in tomato sauce and flavoured yogurt. We may be consuming more sugar than we think. So while grocery shopping, always read the sugar labels and opt for foods with less sugar.
Keep a jar of almonds, cashews, walnuts - they’re loaded with ‘good’ fats and are highly nutritious as well as convenient. Believe me, snacking on nuts instead of chips make a difference in your sporting performance. Always stay nuts!
Don’t go on a diet
Whether it is to gain weight or lose weight, consult your doctor or coach before putting your body through major changes. Dieting is more about changing habits in order to promote healthy eating.
Eat healthy and nutritious calories instead of those coming from junk food to avoid health problems and deficiencies. You will feel great throughout the day after eating veggies, nuts, and seeds and they will start to taste good after a while too.
If you must eat out, choose wisely
Eating out is inevitable. If you’re at a fast-food place, opt for salads or buy pizza with less cheese. University cafeterias often have healthy choices at a reasonable price. For example, the World Pot menu line at ETH Zurich’s cafeteria offers “Dumplings with sweet potatoes, carrots, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, limes, coriander, and bean sprouts.” The menu changes daily and you can download their app to see what will be served in the coming days.
I gave all these tips a try and my productivity and well-being have been boosted. My energy levels are high throughout the day. I can concentrate for longer during exams.